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Ghislaine Maxwell, Associate of Jeffrey Epstein, Is Arrested - By Nicole Hong, Benjamin Weiser and Mihir Zaveri (NT)

Ms. Maxwell was accused of helping Mr. Epstein recruit, groom and then sexually abuse girls, one as young as 14.


Credit...Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan, via Getty Images

The girl was 14 years old when she met the financier Jeffrey Epstein and his companion, Ghislaine Maxwell, in the 1990s. They tried to become her friend, taking her shopping and to the movies. Ms. Maxwell asked about her family and school.
Then, Ms. Maxwell began undressing in front of the girl and recruiting her to participate in sexualized massages of Mr. Epstein, prosecutors said. The pattern continued for years, as Ms. Maxwell fed Mr. Epstein’s dark desires and participated in some of the abuse herself, according to a newly unsealed indictment.
Ms. Maxwell, the daughter of a publishing magnate and once a fixture on New York’s social scene, was arrested on Thursday in New Hampshire, where the authorities said she had been hiding. She was charged with luring multiple underage girls into Mr. Epstein’s orbit.
The arrest of Ms. Maxwell, Mr. Epstein’s former girlfriend and longtime associate, was the latest twist in a legal saga that has been a source of international intrigue and conspiracy theories. The case has drawn in prominent academics, politicians, business leaders and even British royalty.

 Ms. Maxwell’s arrest came almost exactly one year after Mr. Epstein was charged in a federal indictment with sexually exploiting and abusing dozens of girls and women at his mansion in Manhattan, his estate in Palm Beach, Fla., and other locations.

The Indictment of Ghislaine Maxwell

Read the full document of charges against Ms. Maxwell.

A month after his arrest, in August 2019, Mr. Epstein hanged himself in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan, where he had been jailed pending trial on sex trafficking charges. After his death, federal prosecutors said they would continue to investigate his associates.
For the past year, Ms. Maxwell, now 58, had been hiding out in various locations in New England, prosecutors wrote in a memo on Thursday. She switched her email address and registered a new  phone number under the name “G Max.” She ordered packages using a different person’s name for the shipping label.
Most recently, Ms. Maxwell was living on a 156-acre property in Bradford, N.H., where she was arrested, prosecutors said. The property was acquired in an all-cash purchase in December, and prosecutors said the buyer’s identity had been shielded by a limited liability corporation.

The authorities had been tracking Ms. Maxwell’s movements and had recently learned about her relocation to the New Hampshire home, an F.B.I. official said.
The indictment charged Ms. Maxwell with six counts, including transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. She also faces perjury charges for statements she made during a deposition in 2016 about her role in Mr. Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking operation.
“Maxwell enticed minor girls, got them to trust her, then delivered them into the trap that she and Epstein had set for them,” Audrey Strauss, the acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said at a news conference on Thursday.
Lawrence A. Vogelman, a lawyer for Ms. Maxwell, declined to comment. She has previously denied wrongdoing in civil lawsuits.

 The indictment lists three minor victims who prosecutors say were recruited by Ms. Maxwell from 1994 to 1997, without identifying them by name. Federal laws allow the government to prosecute sex offenses committed against minors at any point in the victim’s lifetime.

Ms. Maxwell appeared Thursday afternoon in federal court in New Hampshire, where a magistrate judge ordered her detained and sent to New York, pending further proceedings there.

Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested and accused of helping Mr. Epstein sexually abuse girls.CreditCredit...Jose A. Alvarado Jr. for The New York Times

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